The Union Recorder

CNHI Special Projects

May 7, 2013

When in a tornado, here's what not to do

If you’re out in your car and a tornado threatens you, don’t try to hide beneath an overpass.

That’s just what reporter Greg Jarrett did in April 1991, when he worked for KNSW-TV in Wichita, Kan. He was out with a cameraman when a tornado came and nearly swept them up. He raced down the highway for a nearby bridge, pulled over and ran up underneath it.

Jarrett, his cameraman and the occupants of another car all survived, shaken but unscathed.

A video of Jarrett hunkering beneath the bridge, while more than 20 years old, “still haunts us today,” said Rick Smith, coordinator with the National Weather Service. “People have it in their heads that it’s the safe thing to do.”

It isn’t. One danger is the potential for a bridge to collapse and crush people. Also, bridges generally are not much protection from debris flung by a tornado.

Jarrett and the photojournalist, Ted Louis, were lucky, said Gayland Kitch, emergency management director in Moore, Okla. “The tornado did not cross over that bridge, which most people watching that video don’t realize,” he said.

The situation was different when a massive tornado hit Moore in May 1999. A woman caught in a similar situation took shelter under a highway bridge and was killed. She was one of three people who died in Oklahoma that day while riding out a tornado beneath an overpass.

Watch the video of a television reporter taking shelter from a tornado beneath a highway overpass. (Note: Foul language)

1
Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza